November 13, 2014

Hello Everyone!

What a great weekend we had at the 2nd Annual ZAK-PAC event on October 18-19 at Germantown Academy!

• 22 Teaching Artists
• 2 Featured Guests, Michelle Kittrell and Kiira Schmidt
• 8 ZAK-PAC/GA Staff
• 10 Committed Volunteers
• 1 Amazing Opening Number
• One informative, fun (and funny) Master’s Q&A
• 2 full convention days
• 56 Classes from which to choose
• 15 Private Coaching for Monologue and Song
• 70+ Competitors in Song, Dance, Monologue
• 1 mind-blowing Finale Event
• 10 Finalists
• 4 Winners
• 1 Joyous Ambassador, Monica Horan
• 80 Inspiring Young Artists in Attendance!!!

…oh, and a partridge in a pear tree…

The event started out with a bang as the teaching artists and special guests took the stage and performed an opening number (music and lyrics by the incomparable Michael Ogborn) for the 80+ young artists attending ZAK-PAC. It was very special with the amazing voices of Christopher Sapienza, Kiira Schmidt, John Monforto and Deirdre Finnegan and a quick but exciting dance performance by teaching artists,  Peter Rios, Sammy Reyes, Renee Chamber Liciaga, Angela Bates Majewski and Rob Harris. Rounding out the number with precision, heart and comedy were Neill Hartley, Jane Baker, Dori O’Dea, Betsy Conner, Terry Marsden, Susie Stevens, Michelle Kittrell, Marcus Stevens and Stage Manager, Ed Robins.

And we can’t forget the hilarious and loving ZAK-PAC Ambassador, Monica Horan. She, as always, is a light of love, talent and kindness and has a special connection to the young artists. Monica teamed with Improv great, Jane Baker, to teach Improv classes throughout the two days. OK, can we talk about Jane for a minute? Jane killed it in the Master’s Q&A on Saturday. When she was talking, everybody in the room was laughing. You gotta love that! Thank you Monica and Jane!

I want to give a shout out to our seasoned pianists and vocal coaches who were on hand to contribute to ZAK-PAC. Thank you Mark Yurkanin, Andrew Hanley and Tom Mucchetti.

I am so proud of all of these teaching artists, staff, supporters and volunteers for the work they do and the love and kindness in which they do it. I feel so honored to have them as part of the ZAK-PAC experience. I could write volumes about each of them. Many, many thanks.

The Finale event was truly mind-blowing with the jurors top 10 picks performing each of their pieces for everyone. I am astounded by the level of talent, insight and poise from these young artists. It bodes well for the future of Performing Arts! I want to give praise to all of the students who chose to compete in front of these professional jurors. Everyone did amazing work with each piece. It takes a great deal of courage to open yourself up like that and we want you know that we all appreciate you so much! And just a word about the Competitions. We really see them as a chance to come in and experience what a professional audition is like. The benefits here are that the student receives instant feedback from the jurors. What a gift this is. When you go to a professional audition, most times you never hear another word. I hope everyone appreciates the value of this format.

Here are the Competition results:

Honorable Mentions from The Middle School:

– Evan Dampman
– Myles Spraggins
– Mikayla White
– Lionel McCulloch
– Ashleigh Neilio
– Julia Zane

10 Finalists:

– Eli Russell, Monologue
– Nate Mann, Monologue
– Sophie Hearn, Monologue
– Amaya White, Song
– Justin Mokayed, Song
– Sophie Hearn, Song
– Alison Kachnoskie, Song
– Maura Stokarski, Dance
– Samantha Butler, Dance
– Alexandra Kafrissen, Dance

3 Winners:

– Nate Mann, Monologue
– Amaya White, Song
– Samantha Butler, Dance

Overall Winner:
Sophie Hearn

Special Thanks!
Thank you to teaching Artist Jennifer Polish for giving her time as a juror and to our lovely production assistants, Maddie Schauerman, Molly Schauerman and Madeline Edgcumbe. Special thanks to Jeff Coon, one of the original Producers and to Joey Abramowitz for his brainstorming and help along the way. We’re getting there! And thanks to Christine Kozsuch for keeping us in the media and on track! Chuck Niccolls goes above and beyond as our head volunteer and we all thank you so much! You were invaluable. And to the volunteers…YOU ROCK!  Thanks to GA and the staff that partnered with us, Debi, K., Bill and Matt. Thanks Mom and Mutten for all the help in getting us out the door for the event! And thank you to Amy Murphy always being available to answer questions and brainstorm with me. As I’ve said many times, we wouldn’t have gotten to the day of the event without the constant talent, work and efforts of Peter Rios and Chris Sapienza!  Without the help of supporters who bestow scholarships on so many deserving young artists, we would not be where we are. Thank you for supporting the arts and ZAK-PAC!

Future ZAK-PAC’s:
ZAK-PAC is moving forward with a lot of new ideas on bringing excitement and masterful arts education to as many young artists as possible. Stay tuned for announcement of the next event!

Thank you so much for your interest. Please pass this forward to others you know who may be interested and we’ll add them to our email list! Can’t wait to be with you all again. For now, follow your passion and be kind and supportive to one another. We’re all in this together!

Julianna Schauerman
ZAK-PAC Executive Producer

Categorised in:

Follow Zakarak Conventions on Facebook Follow Zakarak Conventions on Twitter Follow Zakarak Conventions on Instagram